Once all the fashion weeks wrap up around the world, I love perusing all the new trends that will be hot and happening for the spring. Now clearly, as many of you would agree, the best part of new trends is shopping for new clothes, but wait a second, let's be financially responsible for a second.
Before we start swiping those credit cards and making our bank accounts ache, we should keep in mind that we still have quite a few viable outfits from last year. So why not recycle?
Now if you're not sure which trends are coming back this year, or you weren't paying attention last year and have no idea where to start... well that's why I'm here. I've listed out my top five looks from 2012 that will be back with lasting power for at least one more season.
I am personally a big fan of big bright colours in the warmer months, so colour blocking was definitely a hit with me. Colour blocking allowed us to cut neutrals right out of our outfits and just focus on the vibrant tones of orange, pink, purple, green and yellow. I know some of you are going "no neutrals?!" but embrace the colours and have some fun!
High/Low Skirts & Dresses
I don't even know what it is about a high/low hem that is just so incredibly cute and comfortable, but it just is! Now funny story about this one; I accidentally shrunk one of my favourite cotton maxi dresses last year and the hem was at this really awkward ankle length. Lucky for me, I have a seamstress genius for a mom who was able to transform that dress into a high/low style that has made this dress one of my favourite pieces for the spring.
Now I know emerald is the colour of the year, and I'm not going to argue that (especially because it's my birthstone), but mint is where it's at. Mint looks beautiful on practically every skin tone and is also just a beautiful light colour for the spring. You can wear any clothing article or accessory in mint; literally everything from pumps to blouses and you'll look fab!
I have a confession; I did not embrace this trend last year. Though I loved it, and I saw a really fantastic picture of Kourtney Kardashian in an amazing pair of red palazzo pants, I just never found any that I loved enough to purchase. I also think it's tricky to pull off this look for those of us who are vertically challenged, but I am making it my mission to find the perfect pair of palazzo pants for this spring. And being short is nothing that a pair of heels can't fix.
Now I'm a little old-fashioned with this one and I like the typical black and white polka dot look, but I have seen some really adorable alternatives for this spring. One of my favourites was a pale pink blouse with white polka dots, so cute! Don't get caught up in thinking that only girls under the age of 10 should be wearing polka dots, we're all allowed to look adorable at any age.
That's my round up of trends to recycle for this spring. I'm sure your wallet will thank me now that you can pull out at least five staple outfits for this spring, without even spending a dime. For those of you who missed these trends last year, I'll be hunting for them in the stores along with you! If anyone spots some palazzo pants, holler!
<strong>Love: Coloured jeans</strong> <strong>Try: Neon denim</strong> Seeking a substitute for your jewel-toned jeans? Now is the time to crank up the colour with neon hues like pink, orange, green and yellow. "The brights have gotten even brighter, which again, speaks to that more assertive, more aggressive nature of spring 2013 — so go bold with those jeans," said Morra. While orange was a hot hue last year, primary colours are still having a presence with jade green, cobalt blue and canary yellow emerging as go-to shades, she added. Despite the growing presence of ultra-brights, perennial pale shades for spring are still in play. "Not only has the neon returned — so you're seeing a lot of those vibrant prints — but the hues have also shifted to pastels," Hopkins said, highlighting mint green as a strong colour for the season.
<strong>Love: Pretty, subtle prints</strong> <strong>Try: Big, bold patterns</strong> Sorry, fashion wallflowers. It will be hard to go unnoticed with the array of oversized florals and other large-scale patterns going full bloom this season. "It's like a pant with a personality. I love that this colour-print trend is still continuing this season," said Hopkins. "I find that it's almost one of the easiest items to either pair (with) a white tee or a pair of sandals for the weekend, or to add a blazer... for more of a casual office look." For those shy about wearing a bold graphic, Hopkins said sporting a scarf in a vibrant pattern is the simplest way to invest in the trend.
<strong>Love: Colour blocking</strong> <strong>Try: Coloured stripes</strong> Teaming different hues within one ensemble was a standout style trend last spring. But Morra said it's multi-coloured stripes that are making waves for the new season. "You're seeing them in everything. You're seeing them in dresses and skirts and jackets," she said.</p><p>Morra said while black-and-white blocking was big in 2012, it's stripes and checkerboard patterns that are emerging in the classic colours. Smithers agreed. "I feel like black and white is really everything this spring and summer," she said, pointing to the prevalence of vertical and horizontal stripes, checks and florals steeped in the tandem shades.
<strong>Love: Peter Pan collars</strong> <strong>Try: Plaid shirts or message T-shirts.</strong> The rounded-edge collars were showcased on the spring runways of Ralph Lauren and Alice & Olivia. But for those seeking a switch from the demure, ultra-feminine style favourite, Morra suggested making a 180: replacing the Peter Pan collar with a plaid shirt or a message T-shirt, like those flashing a memorable catchphrase or large-scale brand logo. "It could be any kind of a message, but those message T-shirts have a bit of a kind of a rock 'n' roll kind of a feel to them, whereas the plaid shirt has a grungier kind of mood." Morra said the looks are reminiscent of the '90s retro vibe that has been surfacing in fashion of late.
<strong>Love: The peplum Try: The crop top</strong> The peplum — a ruffle or short overskirt which attaches to the waistlines of garments — has been a consistent presence on the style scene. Morra said the focus remains on the waist this spring, albeit with a bit of skin exposed at the mid-section. The crop-top style popularized by Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Shania Twain in the 1990s is making a fashion resurgence. "I think that's something that's going to be really popular, especially when it comes to dressing for the beach and for clubbing ... your weekend dressing — I think we're going to be seeing a lot of bare middles." It's not just for casual wear. German actress Diane Kruger was seen sporting crop tops paired with sleek skirts during New York Fashion Week and at a Hollywood red carpet event.
<strong>Love: Statement bags</strong> <strong>Try: Soft clutches and structured totes</strong> Accessory aficionados will be keen to get their hands on bags both big and small for spring. Hopkins said everything from small clutches to oversized totes are in the style mix. Smithers said in the past several seasons, structured handbags are taking on a greater level of importance.
<strong>Love: Cat-eye sunglasses</strong> <strong>Try: Round or square-shaped shades</strong> Morra said there are strange, quirky shapes and ornamentation of all kinds — including rhinestones — being showcased in eye-catching eyewear for the brighter months.</p><p>"It's a real statement eye," she said. "The freshest look is kind of an odd shape."
<strong>Love: Platform sandals</strong> <strong>Try: Flatform footwear</strong> Women who love a little lift in their step will be pleased to know the platform style continues to thrive and is evolving. "Platforms were big last year. Now we're seeing that platform trend extending to sneakers — or wedge sneakers — and flatform sandals, where the platform is flat, not angled," said Morra.
<strong>Love: Heels</strong> <strong>Try: A pointed pair</strong> Prepare to put your best foot forward with a pair of pointed heels — with a twist. "The pump with the ankle strap is a big one. It seems like the ankle strap is definitely back," said Hopkins.
<strong>Love: Gladiator flats</strong> <strong>Try: Gladiator boots</strong> The strappy footwear favourite is back in the fashion arena — and in an all-new form. "If you were comfortable with — or a big fan of — the gladiator flat sandal, one of the latest trends off of the spring runways was the gladiator boot ... whether it's a flat or a heel, depending on your preference," said Smithers. "We're looking to see that as one of the biggest trends in terms of footwear for this spring."
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